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Title: Shear-wave anisotropy reveals pore fluid pressure–induced seismicity in the U.S. midcontinent

Abstract

Seismicity in the U.S. midcontinent has increased by orders of magnitude over the past decade. Spatiotemporal correlations of seismicity to wastewater injection operations have suggested that injection-related pore fluid pressure increases are inducing the earthquakes. We present direct evidence linking earthquake occurrence to pore pressure increase in the U.S. midcontinent through time-lapse shear-wave (S-wave) anisotropy analysis. Since the onset of the observation period in 2010, the orientation of the fast S-wave polarization has flipped from inline with the maximum horizontal stress to inline with the minimum horizontal stress, a change known to be associated with critical pore pressure buildup. The time delay between fast and slow S-wave arrivals exhibits increased variance through time, which is common in critical pore fluid settings. Near-basement borehole fluid pressure measurements indicate pore pressure increase in the region over the earthquake monitoring period.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (United States). Dept. of Geology
  2. Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (United States). Kansas Geological Survey
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1499956
Grant/Contract Number:  
FE0002056; EAR-1261681
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science Advances
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 3; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 2375-2548
Publisher:
AAAS
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Nolte, Keith A., Tsoflias, George P., Bidgoli, Tandis S., and Watney, W. Lynn. Shear-wave anisotropy reveals pore fluid pressure–induced seismicity in the U.S. midcontinent. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1700443.
Nolte, Keith A., Tsoflias, George P., Bidgoli, Tandis S., & Watney, W. Lynn. Shear-wave anisotropy reveals pore fluid pressure–induced seismicity in the U.S. midcontinent. United States. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1700443.
Nolte, Keith A., Tsoflias, George P., Bidgoli, Tandis S., and Watney, W. Lynn. Wed . "Shear-wave anisotropy reveals pore fluid pressure–induced seismicity in the U.S. midcontinent". United States. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1700443. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1499956.
@article{osti_1499956,
title = {Shear-wave anisotropy reveals pore fluid pressure–induced seismicity in the U.S. midcontinent},
author = {Nolte, Keith A. and Tsoflias, George P. and Bidgoli, Tandis S. and Watney, W. Lynn},
abstractNote = {Seismicity in the U.S. midcontinent has increased by orders of magnitude over the past decade. Spatiotemporal correlations of seismicity to wastewater injection operations have suggested that injection-related pore fluid pressure increases are inducing the earthquakes. We present direct evidence linking earthquake occurrence to pore pressure increase in the U.S. midcontinent through time-lapse shear-wave (S-wave) anisotropy analysis. Since the onset of the observation period in 2010, the orientation of the fast S-wave polarization has flipped from inline with the maximum horizontal stress to inline with the minimum horizontal stress, a change known to be associated with critical pore pressure buildup. The time delay between fast and slow S-wave arrivals exhibits increased variance through time, which is common in critical pore fluid settings. Near-basement borehole fluid pressure measurements indicate pore pressure increase in the region over the earthquake monitoring period.},
doi = {10.1126/sciadv.1700443},
journal = {Science Advances},
number = 12,
volume = 3,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {12}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 7 works
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Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1. Fig. 1.: Map of the study area in south-central Kansas and northern Oklahoma. Colored triangles are seismometer station locations, and colored circles are earthquake epicenters. Color identifies the time period of the earthquakes and the corresponding recording stations. Red: 2010–2012, EarthScope Transportable Array (TA); green: 2013–2015, Nanometrics Research Network (NX)more » and the U.S.Geological Survey (USGS) Networks (GS); blue: 2015–2016 Wellington, Kansas CO2 Sequestration Monitoring network (ZA). Downhole pressure measured in the KGS1-28 well. Most events used in the study occurred in or near western Sumner County,Kansas. More distant events in northern Oklahoma were incorporated during early time periods, when there was very little seismicity in Kansas. The timing of earthquake occurrence suggests a progression of seismicity from south to north over the 7-year period.« less

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Works referenced in this record:

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Spatiotemporal Variations in Crustal Seismic Anisotropy Surrounding Induced Earthquakes Near Fox Creek, Alberta
    journal, May 2019

    • Li, Tianyang; Gu, Yu Jeffrey; Wang, Zizhen
    • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 46, Issue 10
    • DOI: 10.1029/2018gl081766

    Accelerated Fill‐Up of the Arbuckle Group Aquifer and Links to U.S. Midcontinent Seismicity
    journal, March 2019

    • Ansari, E.; Bidgoli, T. S.; Hollenbach, A.
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, Vol. 124, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1029/2018jb016926

    Leakage and Increasing Fluid Pressure Detected in Oklahoma's Wastewater Disposal Reservoir
    journal, March 2019

    • Barbour, Andrew J.; Xue, Lian; Roeloffs, Evelyn
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, Vol. 124, Issue 3
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